Posts Tagged ‘teacher’


August 17, 2016

A former teacher and his former pupils have met. They met after more than twenty years of aspiration, hope, good and bad luck, achievements and knock-downs, failures and triumphs. Now each of the pupils was almost as old as the teacher had been when he saw them last. That class was the best he had ever had, and that was his last class. What followed was a different part of his life – no less interesting and exciting and, definitely, more rewarding financially, but far less rewarding when he compared it to their shining eyes, lightning-like reaction to his questions, their display of wit and humor in the classroom (of course, all that was done in English, the language they were learning!)

This time it was a moment when the teacher was summing up his teacher’s past. Each of his pupils was a somebody in this life – having a decent command not only of English but of other languages, possessing business acumen, being able to meet the challenges of the present day. However, it was hardly the teacher’s merit: he had taught the pupils for a comparatively short time. Rather, those were their parents and their environment that had given them the initial powerful push. The teacher’s merit might have been that at some point he served as a good stepping stone by supporting the values the pupils had been given. He encouraged them, he inspired them, he didn’t fail them in what they were after. And that was his part.

We were sitting in a café with a big awning overhead. It was raining outside. The rain had been falling for several hours already, dampness was thick in the air, and our memories were rustling through the soft music of the rain.



October 29, 2015

He taught math at high school. When he retired he still kept going to school. He would sit in the staff room reading through the curriculum, syllabi, courses programs and the teachers’ worksheets and trying to start up conversations with his former colleagues during breaks. The colleagues were busy and the conversations turned out to be short. At monthly staff meetings he usually took the floor and spoke to the heedless audience about the improvement of the academic process until he was stopped by the chairperson. He thought he was “useful”, but they thought he was just a pain-in-the-neck.

With time his visits to school grew rarer and rarer, and, finally, he ceased going there. A couple of times I saw him in the streets of the town. Each time he pulled a trolley with some food from the market and his shirt in the back was wet. He lived with his wife. She was paralyzed and bed-ridden.

I saw the last of him one day at the university research library. He shuffled his way noisily into the reading hall with a stack of books in algebra, arithmetic, geometry in his arms… Graduate students raised their heads from their papers and stole curious looks at him. He didn’t notice anyone…  An old man with happy eyes…

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